Bhawanipatna: The annual Chhatar Jatra of goddess Manikeswari, the presiding deity of Bhawanipatna town in Kalahandi district, will be held without devotees and animal sacrifice October 24 this year.
Briefing the media Wednesday, Kalahandi collector Gavali Parag Harshad said, “There will be no congregation near Manikeswari temple in view of COVID-19 outbreak.”
“In order to stop people from visiting the temple to witness Chhatar Jatra, the district administration will seal Bhawanipatna town October 24. Apart from this, there will be constant monitoring in the border areas of the district and people coming from other places will not be allowed to enter the town. However, patients travelling with emergency medical cases will be allowed,” Harshad added.
The collector further maintained that there will be no animal sacrifices at the temple this year. “The district administration has started an awareness campaign in the district to restrain local denizens from this practice.”
Harshad further added that the administration has made arrangements for the people to watch the live telecast of the Chhatar Jatra from the safety of their homes.
Notably, during this religious event, a ceremonial Chhatar (umbrella) of goddess Manikeswari is taken out from the temple early in the morning to Jenakhalo – located on the outskirts of Bhawanipatna following performance of secret rituals at the temple. The return journey of the Chhatar to the temple is known as Chhatar Jatra.